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The Best of Friends (1991)

| Biography | TV Movie
Adapted from their letters and journals, this is a portrayal of the unique twenty-five-year friendship shared by Dame Laurentia McLachlan (Benedictine nun), Sir Sydney Cockerell (museum ... See full summary »


Alvin Rakoff


Sidney Cockerell (as Sir Sidney Cockerell), Felicitas Corrigan (book) | 4 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
John Gielgud ... Sydney Cockerell
Wendy Hiller ... Laurentia McLachlan
Patrick McGoohan ... George Bernard Shaw


Adapted from their letters and journals, this is a portrayal of the unique twenty-five-year friendship shared by Dame Laurentia McLachlan (Benedictine nun), Sir Sydney Cockerell (museum curator), and George Bernard Shaw (playwright and critic). Written by Kathy Li

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Did You Know?


Patrick McGoohan was concerned that he might be over-acting in the role of George Bernard Shaw, and sought advice from his co-stars, both of whom had known the real man well. Sir John Gielgud told him not to worry because "Shaw always over-articulated". See more »


Suite in D
Written by Craig Braginsky and Patrick McGoohan
BMP Records (Division of BMP Audio) New Haven,CT.
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User Reviews

Fine, Imaginative Drama--Humorous and Touching
30 March 2020 | by jackbuckley-25095See all my reviews

Where or how does one begin to praise such a production as this? With only 3 participants, not including the bizarre, and mercifully short, fantasy sequence, and minimalist, though perfectly adequate sets, the program is rivetting and delightful. I would caution that it's best-suited for relatively mature adults, as its likely to be over the heads of children. The aforementioned fantasy sequence, though tame and harmless, contains nudity but, beyond this, the subtlety and sophistication of it would escape the comprehension of the immature young, creating only bewilderment and embarassment. The play's not suited to the young anyway. It's beauty resides in hearing the wonderfully witty, insightful, and erudite dialogue, often on serious subjects, performed by 3 masters of the craft. I don't think I've ever seen John Gielgud play a more ebullient and likeable character, one with a real sparkle in his eye. Patrick MacGoohan is virtually perfect as George Bernard Shaw. Wendy Hiller, grande dame of British theater, is exquisite as the nun Sister Laurentia. One can feel the sincere friendship and respect their real-life counterparts felt for each other. The play moves right along and is imaginatively staged. All the actors are extremely natural and believable in their respective roles. I'm not sure why the fantasy-sequence, a visualization of Shaw's satirical book on traditional religion, deemed "blasphemous" by Sister Laurentia, who refuses to read or accept a copy, nevertheless seems somewhat out of place. Probably could've been portrayed without this odd detour. It's brief, though, and causes no harm to the whole. The incident leads to an estrangement between the nun and the Irish playwright of "Pygmalion"("My Fair Lady")fame. The story features many humorous, as well as touching moments, especially toward the end. Comprised of 4 parts(as I recall), each installment is easy to take and never tedious. It's a joy from start to finish!

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